June 13, 1977. Mayes County, Oklahoma. While attending a summer camp for Girl Scouts, 10-year Denise Milner, 9-year Michelle Guse, and 8-year old Lori Farmer spend the night together in a tent. When morning hits, the murdered bodies of the three girls are discovered 150 yards away in the woods. Michelle and Lori have been bludgeoned to death while Denise’s cause of death is strangulation. Evidence seems to point to Gene Leroy Hart, a wanted fugitive who has been on the run for nearly four years, and after a lengthy manhunt, he is captured and charged with the murders. Hart eventually goes on trial for the crime, but is acquitted by the jury and dies of a heart attack two months later. Over the next four decades, attempts are made to use forensic testing to link Hart to the murders, but the results are always inconclusive. Did Gene Leroy Hart actually commit this crime or did the real killer get away with it? For our special four-year anniversary show of “The Trail Went Cold”, we will be chronicling the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders, a very infamous and controversial case which was voted on by our listeners. Special thanks to listener Aislinn O’Brien for narrating the opening of this episode.
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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.
All music is composed by Vince Nitro.